After several drivers lapped under the existing track record in Friday practice, championship points leader Adrian Carrio shattered the record in qualifying to capture the pole position for Round Nine of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear at Road America. Driving the #14 World Speed Motorsports Rockford Fosgate Mazda, the seventeen-year old Carrio clocked a time of 2:03.849 (117.666 MPH) as the checkered flag fell to officially break the previous record of 2:04.621 set in 2004 by Daniel DiLeo.
“My crew stayed here until midnight last night working on the car and my engineer Mike Doyle made a couple of adjustments, and all those minor changes that fine tune the car make a huge difference at a track like this, finding just a little bit of time in each corner adds up, ” Carrio explained. “The lap came late in the session because the pressure was on and I was able to get good track position for that last lap where I had a nice gap. This is the second time I’ve pulled out a pole on the final lap of qualifying and it’s kind of fun to shock everyone at the end of a session.”
In the race Carrio held the lead until the very last lap when Ron White in the #69 car was able to get a draft and get by. Carrio, who saw his lead dwindle twice due to caution flags, was disappointed to lose the lead on the final lap but philosophical about the championship implications on a weekend that saw his closest championship competitor, Michael Potekhen, involved in a shunt in the final corner of the circuit. “I have to give kudos to Ron there on the closing lap, I gave him a little bit of room and he managed to get through at the end, still we’ve pulled out a lot of room in the championship,” the seventeen-year old Carrio said. “Those cautions killed our chances today as the car was working really well and I had broken the draft of the cars behind me, so to lose that was tough. I was able to hold everyone off on the first restart and was hoping that Ron and Logan would slow each other down racing for second but Ron was able to pull into the draft and get through. Still it was a great weekend for World Speed and I’m looking forward to Mosport.”
In the Team Championship World Speed Motorsports remains in first place with 173 points, John Walko Racing remains in second place with 168 points and Apex Racing sits in third place with 135 points.
The series heads back to Canada for the third and final time this season in two weeks time, where it will join the American Le Mans Series for the Labour Day Grand Prix of Mosport on August 31st through September 2nd. Round Nine of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear is scheduled to air on Speed Channel at 3:00 PM Eastern Time on Saturday, August 26th.